I was having fun on my Instagram story last week and sharing some of my prepping for summer tips and wow, so many responses and questions and encouragement of how it was so helpful for your own families. Makes me smile, really. One follower responded that she appreciated the tips so much because her brain ‘literally doesn’t work that way.’ Sometimes I forget that. Something that may be so natural for me in the kitchen or around the home may not be to others. I guess what I’m saying is, I’m glad I can be helpful.
I thought I would walk you through our summer prep in detail since Instagram stories only lasts 24 hours. This blog is permanent, so you can reference as much as you’d like and year by year (which I will be doing). I’m also going to be walking through this all on Instagram story today so be sure to follow along, if you’d like. I will be showing some products in more detail and showing how the ‘flow’ of the system works. We just went through our first weekend of baseball so I even tweaked things a bit to make it even more efficient. With summer being right around the corner, (and the kids still in school, for now) this is the time to get all of this stuff organized and ready to go!
Obviously feel free to edit this for your own family’s needs. Swap baseball tips for soccer, or your choice of sport(s). If pool isn’t your thing just make a general ‘summer bag’ and so on and so forth. This is what goes down in our household, and I hope you can find it applicable for yours.
To begin, find a spot in your home that is sort of your ‘home base.’ Mudrooms and/or laundry rooms are great for this, especially if they are right off of the garage. If your home doesn’t have that, carving out space in the garage is a great solution, especially if you’ve got some shelving going on.
One you have your space let’s begin with the basics. In our home we have two boys in sports, so, they each get their own basket. We are using these which are darling and work perfectly in the space but sadly, they are sold out. Don’t worry, any large basket will do. Keeping them right off the entry way prevents very dirty sandy boys walking through the home, taking off sandy uniforms in their rooms, etc. Literally my boys walk in the home, throw their baseball bags in the baskets, strip down, and that is that. (I even keep a change of fresh clothes for them right in the laundry room). Here is how I organize their baskets.
- Each child’s uniform is washed, folded, and ready to go after each use and put back in the basket (this includes sports underwear, cup, pants, jerseys, etc). That way come game time all they need to know is to go to their basket and everything is there ready to go. This has helped immensely with the whole WHERE IS MY HAT WHERE IS MY CUP WHERE ARE MY PANTS situations.
- Baseball bags and equipment go in their basket. Not in my trunk. Not in dad’s trunk. Not in their friends trunk. IN THE BASKET. With their batt, matt, helmet, and anything else they may need. This is their responsibility.
- Cleats are stored in here, too. Do not walk through my home with them on. Amen.
- Each boy has snack pack that they are responsible for (don’t forget to label with their name). Come game day in goes an ice pack, a chilled Gatorade, chilled water, and a snack (normally a pack of trail mix).
And that’s it! I swear this helps the boys in terms of knowing where their stuff is and belongs. They have both been really good about making sure their equipment ends up in their basket. Ah, nagging works.
Next to the sports baskets goes the home base of summer for me: our baseball bag, drink bags, and pool bag. Let’s break this down.
Look, tournaments are long. And unknown. I learned a lot last year. Like, when my phone says 65 and sunny suddenly at baseball that can be mean 45 and pouring rain. Or, 55 and cloudy suddenly can turn into 78 and sunny and your three year old ends up sunburnt. Not fun. And while you don’t want to do this ….
….. there is something to be said for being prepared. In an organized streamlined fashion of course. Here is what I have in our family baseball tote.
- Waterproof picnic blanket. We don’t do chairs at games. We hope for bleachers, we walk around, or we will sit on the ground. There is already enough to carry and pack, I’m not going to lug chairs. And honestly, 90% of the game I am pacing anyways. #nerves
- Sunscreen. This is a wonderful and extremely safe for all brand.
- Bug spray. Obsessed with this stuff, obsessed.
- Umbrella, ella ella.
- A blanket made by my mom. This will likely be removed (hopefully) by later May but for now it’s a staple even if the phone says 72.
- Ice packs in case of injury
- Snack pack. I fill this with (generally) healthy options that always end up being way healthier than concessions. Staples are trail mix, peanut butter crackers, fruit leathers, and cliff bars. This is always packed and ready. Come game day, I add in fresh fruit (apples and clementines are go to’s).
- My summer essentials kit. (details below)
- A change I made this year was not lugging a purse into games. Why bring in a whole purse just to hold my wallet, keys, and chapstick? I now remove my wallet and keys zip it into one of my favorites pouches and slide into the baseball bag.
SUMMER ESSENTIALS KIT
This has been such a dramatic tip for my family. Here goes. Instead of having only one chapstick, sunscreen, kit for bandaids, advil, sunscreen, etc for your family that you are constantly rotating between bags (hence forgetting items half the time) you make as many small kits as you need that holds all the essentials. For us, I make three of the summer essentials kits. One goes in our baseball bag, one goes in our pool bag, and one goes in my purse. Easy and I know that I’ll have (hopefully) everything we may need. I use these clear zipped pouches from Amazon, they work great! Here is what I fill them with.
- Shout to go wipes
- Hand sanitizer spray (we are obsessed with this brand)
- Aquaphor sunscreen lip protectant
- A pen
- Nail clippers
- Tampons, ahem
- Sunscreen stick (love this super safe brand)
- Hair tie
- Benadryl itch relief stick
That brings us to a very important part of summer – staying hydrated! I invested in a chilled bag (love the red) this year to help keep things cool. Each boy has their own pack to start, that stays with their baseball bag. Then I will pack this red bag with extra drinks for all, including any snacks I want to keep cool. My go to’s are sliced up veggies with ranch and cut up apples. Again, way better than the nacho cheese at the concessions (gag).
Last but not least that brings us to the pool bag. One of the easiest ones I find to keep organized, not sure why. Perhaps I’ve been keeping one for ten years now so I’ve got it down. I am obsessed with these bags from Lands End. I think the price is so fair for the size and quality you get it – and it zips! Here’s what goes down on the inside.
- Towel for each boy (our pool provides towels but we are often visiting friends pools or other pools that may not). I’m in love with these personalized baseball towels. And if you are friends with my boys there is a very large chance you will be gifted one someday.
- Swimsuit for each of us. (This one shoulder swimsuit is SO flattering. I get asked where it’s from almost every time I wear it. My version (striped) is no longer available but they have a lot of fun prints for this season!)
- Pool toys, although I really try to keep this limited because we always, always, just seem to lose them.
- Summer essentials kit (see above)
And that’s a wrap my friends! Who’s ready for summer?